Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.
Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.
By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.
As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.
But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.
While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.
The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...
Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.
And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.
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Germany's Kutscher wins Longines Grand Prix at LA MastersEurosport.com, October 6th
The Longines Grand Prix was one of several top feature classes at the LA Masters which drew the attendance of many of the world's leading equestrian riders. Any disappointment that Patrice Delaveau may have had in Sunday's Grand Prix would have been ...Read more
Gates, Jobs, Spielberg, Springsteen, Selleck, Bloomberg ... and Kaley Cuoco as ...PJ Media, October 5th
Top international equestrians gathered this past week, October 1 – 4, in the Los Angeles Convention Center for the second annual Longines Masters competition. Among them were Jennifer Gates (daughter of Bill), Eve Jobs (daughter of Steve), Destry ...Read more
Brand Ambassador Ash unveils new Longines watch collection in DelhiDaily Mail, October 5th
As the brand ambassador, Ash presented the new Longines DolceVita collection at the Connaught Place boutique. The 41-year-old star kept it low-key in a muted colour combination, opting for a nude-coloured maxi-skirt paired with a grey shirt, black...Read more
Dine at the Longines Masters Table in LA: Chef Yves MattagneHuffington Post, October 5th
A native of Belgium, his charming accent and warm smile pour into his culinary vocabulary, as he explains how he prepares a cold gazpacho with warm lobster to serve 600 tables at the Longines Masters in Los Angeles this weekend. He uses this...Read more
Longines Creates World's Best Horse Race AwardPaulick Report, October 5th
Mr Louis Romanet, Chairman of IFHA, and Mr. Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice-President of Longines and Head of International Marketing pose with the Longines World's Best Horse Race award. Longines is proud to announce the extension of its long-term ...Read more
Kaley Cuoco Ditches Estranged Husband Ryan Sweeting's Last Name at Longines ...Us Magazine, October 2nd
“And my weekend starts right now @mastersgrandslam,” the horseback rider captioned her Instagram photo of her place card at the event on Friday. The equestrian also attended the Longines International Races Gala on Thursday and looked stunning in a ...Read more
Eve Jobs Tops Destry Spielberg in Opening Day of Longines Masters L.A.Hollywood Reporter, October 2nd
The Longines Masters of Los Angeles kicked off on Oct. 1 with big names in the ring, in the audience and on the winner's board. Eve Jobs, daughter of the late Steve Jobs, and her horse, Quickley 3, won the Écuries d' Écaussinnes Trophy in a time of 29...Read more
Every Celebrity Equestrian Will Be at the Longines Masters of Los Angeles ...Town and Country Magazine (blog), October 1st
Along with Georgina Bloomberg, who competed last week in Central Park, confirmed celebrity participants include actress Kaley Cuoco, Eve Jobs (daughter of Steve), Destry Spielberg (daughter of Steven), Jennifer Gates (daughter of Bill), and Hannah ...Read more